A type of movement improvisation in which students mirror or shadow each other's movement in groups. Often uses a diamond formation. Students follow the movements of a leader and share leadership throughout the group. This is an extended version of mirroring for three or more people. Participants do not necessarily need to be able to watch the leader, as long as they can see and follow each other. (adapted from the Ontario Arts Curriculum, 2009 )
An Instructional Approach
- Begin with groups of four students.
- Students stand in a line one behind the other. The student at the front of the line uses simple, slow movements using space to the side of her/his body so that students can see and mirror in a follow-the-leader fashion.
- Playing slow music will support this activity. At specific intervals, of about 1 minute, rotate the leader to the back of the line to determine a new leader.
- Once students are comfortable moving in the space and following a leader, arrange the groups into a diamond formation. (see diagram)
- Repeat the follow-the-leader movements, following student #1, and instruct students that when the direction in which the group is facing changes, the leadership will pass to the person at the 'front' of the group. All students mirror or shadow the person at the front. Allow students to practice changing leadership by making ninety-degree turns.
Variations for Different Levels of Readiness
- As their skill increases, groups can increase in number. A student may be added to the centre of the diamond, but that student will not take the lead. Other students may be added 'along the lines of the diamond', and they will not take the lead. The four students at the four tips of the diamond will continue to pass the lead to each other.
- When one leader feels as though s/he is done leading, s/he points to another dancer, who then takes over leading.
- The teacher can call for a new leader, signaling a ninety-degree turn.
- The teacher could be the first leader.
- Music is chosen to suit the age of students. - Students can flock through the space and pass through another "flock of birds".
- Different tempos and styles of music may be used.
- - Students can change their arrangements in their flock to be farther away from one another to extend their sensitivity.
- - Students can create more difficult movements and different styles of dance.- Diamonds may overlap each other, or be arranged one within the other to explore contrasting movements between groups.
Cross Curricular Uses
Health and Physical Education
Students in flock can explore sport skill movements i.e. dribbling, free throw shot, pivot.
Daily Physical Activity
Flocking may be used with whole class involvement and vigorous movements
Students can move as different states of matter, different weather systems, or a variety of stages of the water cycle.
Divide class into two, one group forms a circle and performs a choral chant of a poem, while the other group performs a flock in the centre of the circle, to music at low volume.